Archive for March, 2011

50+184 Honouring the late Mark Hendrikx through the Canadian Cancer Society Relay for Life

Last August the world lost a great man Mark Hendrikx that I knew as my accountant but he was also a fine husband to his wife Martha and father to 5 wonderful kids, not to mention a well respected man in the town of Newcastle, Ontario Canada he was a pillar in the community.

Marks passing hit us all very hard, taken away at the young age of 48 years though I believe that he had accomplished more in those 48 years than others can achieve in 88 years.

This week I received a letter from Martha and her daughter Marissa informing me that they are honouring Mark by forming a team that will walking in the Canadian Cancer Society Relay for Life this upcoming June 24th where teams will be walking around the Clarington Central Secondary School track all night starting at 7pm and  finishing at 7am.

Marissa came up with the perfect name for her team which is Hendrikx Brainpower, Mark died from Brainstem Cancer and it was a fact that Mark had one of the sharpest minds that I have known, he knew all of the best ways to run my business and make sure that the government did not get any more dollars from me and the rest of his clients.

Last years Relay raised just shy of $100k and this year Hendrikx Brainpower wants to raise $10,000 just on their own. But to do so they need our help.

If your in the local area of Newcastle and would like to join the team and participate in the Relay The 12 hours of support would be appreciated. If your not in town you can also pledge money in the support of one of the team members, All pledges go towards Cancer Research.

For those of you wishing to pledge please visit this site The Canadian Cancer Society and you can donate using the secure website.

Marissa is the Team Captain of Team Hendrikx Brainpower and if you need more information she would be happy to talk to you, you can contact Marissa by her twitter account @MarissaHendrikx or you can email her at or by phone 905-987-3115. Marissa’s Mum is Co Captain of the team and can be reached at

There is also a facebook event page set up for the event as well which can be found here

I am not the type of person to do a lot of promotion for causes and charity but I do want to help here for two reasons, one is that everyone knows someone that has been taken from us too soon by Cancer and secondly Mark was such a great man both for business and community reasons that I want to do my part in helping the spirit of Mark continue in his community work.


50+174 Cheerwine will be a constant reminder of Southern Expedition 2011

A day does not go by that I do not reflect for at least a moment on my Southern Expedition that I took in January 2011.

I had so many great moments during that trip that not only got me away from the cold and the snow of Canadian Winter but it was such a break from issues in life that I needed to get away from for a short time.

I was so fortunate to meet many fine people that I had talked with online in the world of BBQ and was blown away by the Southern hospitality that was awarded me by the friendly folks in North Carolina, Georgia and Florida.

It all started in Salisbury North Carolina when I met with Blog Writer Cyndi Allison taking possession of the Masterbuilt Electric Smokehouse that I was lucky to win in her online draw back in October. Not only did I get the smoker but we also exchanged some gifts that were from our local areas. One of the gifts I received was a case of Cheerwine which is a local favorite soda drink in North Carolina.

It has a wonderful Wild Cherry flavour and is made with Pure Cane Sugar rather than using corn syrup as most soft drinks do. Mind you that is only in the 12 oz. glass bottle size and only available from the distribution center in Salisbury.  You can read an in depth story I wrote on this soft drink on my BBQ blog here.

My point being that looking back the case of Cheerwine had a deeper meaning to me  since its name is derived from the word Cheer which is a pleasure that it represents and though not having alcohol content it uses wine in its name to show off the clear burgundy colour.

So it is like raising a glass with friends, When I got home I cut the side off of the Cheerwine case and brought it to Costco and had it put in a nice glassed frame which is now proudly hanging on the wall in my office, as a constant reminder of good times and good people.

The next day I had a great lunch at Lexington #1 Barbecue with other BBQ friends Wayne Brown, John Shepard and his son by the same name along with Cyndi and her son Eli.

I also had the pleasure of spending an evening with Michael and Stephanie Baxter in Fitzgerald Georgia.

And in Florida  I met members of two special BBQ teams that competed in the Lakeland Florida Pigfest.

First off there was Doug and his wife Biggi Francis along with their 2 kids and Sue from Hogs Gone Wild BBQ.

Doug, Sue, Melissa, Biggi and TJ

and Chad Ward along with the rest of the Whiskey Bent BBQ Team

And on my way out of Florida I stopped in Jacksonville to spend a few hours with no other than Hank Bob or as he is known when not in character Aaron Smith.

Another couple of great guys to meet were the owners of Southern Soul BBQ Griffin Bufkin and Harrison Sapp.


I am a bit reflective today mainly because I hung up my Cheerwine frame and again it reminded me of the great time I had. and I will raise a bottle to all of my southern friends and I hope that we get the chance to meet again on a future trip, but in the meantime will continue to talk with most of them online….. CHEERS!

50+164 Some bookkeeping from my Southern Expedition 2011

First off I need to say sorry to my readers that I have not been keeping up with my so called daily blog as it has been about 3 weeks since my last post.

Between getting caught up around the house and my business and also finding time to review products for my BBQ blog this page had found itself on the back burner.

I will try to keep this page as active as I can in the future.

Today I sat down with all of my fuel receipts from my Southern Expedition and did some accounting work with them.

I had not driven down south since the 1993 and of course since then fuel costs have been a lot higher than at that time and the past few years I had taken a big bird to go visit my parents in Florida. A single Airfare to Florida return would cost in the area of $300.00

But since I was doing a BBQ tour on the way with stops in NC, Georgia and a few spots in Florida along with the fact I had  my Masterbuilt smoker to pick up, driving down made a lot of sense.

I really enjoyed the drive, yes I was alone in the car but with the tunes rockin’ and no one along to slow me down or try to speed me up, it was very enjoyable.

Here is my Fuel Expenses for the trip in my 2003 VW Jetta TDI, being a Diesel the economy was excellent except in the mountains where my Turbo boost shut down due to the high altitude.

Not to confuse you all, but in Canada we are using the metric system so there are some calculations done.

1 mile = 1.61 km

1 US Gallon = 4.5 litres

But as you can see I did put totals for  miles, km’s, Litre’s and Gallons

And here are some screen shots from my GPS after I got back home to Oshawa after the trip.

It should be noted that I had reset the trip stats on the GPS just after I started my trip so the km do not quite add up.

and if your wondering about the very very high Max Speed on the GPS, that was when I took my GPS on an airplane 2 years ago, and I will not be resetting the max speed on my GPS since I think that is so cool 🙂